System: Shuttle ST62K Zen XPC :: ST62K The unit

03-01-2004 · Category: Hardware - Systems

By Benjamin Sun
Shuttle ST62K Zen XPC
System: Shuttle ST62K Zen XPC
Size WDH(mm)190 (W) x280 (D)x 170 (H)
ChipATI RS300M/IXP200
Memory TypeDDRx2 (DUAL CH) 266/333/400
CPU Type478
Video ChipRADEON 9100IGP
Video Portsx1
Sound ChipAC97 5.1CH
Lan Speed10/100/1000
ATA ConnectorATA100x2
SATA ConnectorSATAx2
USB 2.02(Rear) / 2(Front)
IEEE13942(Rear) (6 pins)
5.25" Bays1
3.5" Bays1
HDD Bay1
SPS180W External Power Supply Unit

The ST62K is based around ATI's new RS300M chip set (RADEON 9100IGP). You can see a reference review based upon MSI's RS300M motherboard by clicking this link. This motherboard supports all Pentium 4 CPUs and Celeron CPUs based upon the Socket 478 interface. Shuttle's website indicates that this motherboard supports up to 3.4 GHz Northwood and 3.0 Extreme Edition. ATI says that the chipset should support Prescott, but it's not currently on the supported CPU list on Shuttle's website.

North Bridge duties for the motherboard on this mini system are handled by the RADEON 9100 IGP chipset. This supports up a Dual Channel memory interface with support for DDR200/266/333/400 memory that feeds both the integrated graphics and the CPU with memory bandwidth. The Zen comes with 2 DIMM slots for up to 2 GB of non-ECC unregistered memory.

System: Shuttle ST62K Zen XPC

South Bridge duties are handled by the IXP150 chipset that's included with this XPC. This chip handles SMBus 2.0, the ATA interfaces, USB 2.0, the included Ethernet, Super IO, and the LPC Bus. This chip does not have native support for SATA hard drives and no external chip is included with the system to support it. With SATA drive support becoming more prevalent with motherboard manufacturers it's one feature that I sorely miss.

On-board video is based upon ATI's RADEON 9100 chip. I've already described the key features of this chip in my previous MSI review and I won't be repeating it in this review. Shuttle decided not to include an AGP slot for add-in cards. This could be construed as a negative for most motherboards and mini-systems. It's especially true of a motherboard with an Intel Extreme Edition integrated graphics core. Thankfully, the ST62K comes with an RADEON 9100IGP, which has the full DirectX 8.1 feature set including pixel and vertex shaders. Many games today include DX 8.1 class pixel shaders as the minimum specification including Far Cry and Halo.

A Realtek ALC650 CODEC provides on-board sound. There are 3 jacks for front/rear/center speakers. Also included are S/PDIF Input/Output jacks. The sound is adequate, though not outstanding. I prefer the sound of the ADI SoundMax with Sonic Focus refinement. We will shortly see more from Sonic Focus in refining audio clarity, stay tuned.

The box comes in a compact unit that houses the XPC. The front of the box has the name of the product, [Zen] XPC ST62K, the color (White), a SilentX sticker and the RADEON 9100 IGP Platform sticker. The rear of the box gives a short synopsis of what the Zen XPC is supposed to be about, the Specifications, and a short description of the uses for the XPC. The side panels have descriptions of the ICE Technology and what the retail package includes.

System: Shuttle ST62K Zen XPC

The front of the XPC contains one 3.5" bay (for the floppy drive), one 5.25" drive bay (for the CDROM), a power button, Reset, Power LED, HDD LED lights, MIC , Line in, Head phones jacks and 2 USB 2.0 ports. As you can see it's well outfitted for the front ports and bays. Some modern small form factor PCs have 2 5.25" bays, but for the purpose of a small enclosed system one bay is enough for most people.

System: Shuttle ST62K Zen XPC

The rear of the ST62K is also similarly outfitted with a wide array of jacks and ports. The rear ports of the ST62K include DC Power Inlet, VGA Port, Clear CMOS Button, AV and S-Video port, SPDIF out, COM port, 2 1394 ports, LAN port 10/100, 2 USB ports, PS/2 mouse/keyboard ports, Front speaker jack, surround speaker jack, center/base speaker jack and SPDIF in port.

System: Shuttle ST62K Zen XPC